Why ‘Find Your Purpose in Life’ Is Terrible Advice

Lessons from the Japanese concept of ‘ikigai’

Smiling woman enjoying glass of wine while watching sunset from backyard.

Years ago, during my time in Japan, I went to a bar with an elderly dojo master after five hours of intense karate training. We were soon joined by a rival teacher, and the two men, who had trained together as kids, began sharing stories about their childhood. Eager to learn from the living legends, I…